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Plant Happiness with Alice Wangu Mwaura

They say you can’t buy happiness. But just ask Alice Wangu Mwaura – you can certainly plant it! 

When Alice joined our training program, she was looking for a path away from the farming practices harming her land. She found it hard to be happy when just one bad harvest could put her farm and her family in jeopardy. 

“Right now, my farm is very different from what it used to be,” Alice says. 

With the wide, nutritious variety of vegetables and fruits growing throughout her farm, she can support her family and meet their dietary needs. With the regenerative agroforestry techniques she has implemented, she’s confident in the long-term success and health of her farm. With a steady income and a thriving family, Alice looks forward to tomorrow, rather than dreading it.  

“Tomorrow,” she says with a smile. “I’m going to plant some trees.” 

You may remember when we introduced you to Alice with a walk through her beautiful Forest Garden in October. With more than 3,000 trees shading the extensive diversity of vegetable beds, it’s easy to see the pride Alice takes in her farm. But it hasn’t always been that way. 

Like most of her fellow farmers, Alice used to practice monocrop agriculture. In this approach, Alice planted one or two crops at a time across all of her land to send to market. But this left her income at the mercy of a single crop’s success and drained her soils of valuable nutrients. 

“At times, I found the harvest would fail,” she recalls. “I found it very difficult to make ends meet.” 

The Forest Garden Approach replaced difficulty with joy and pride. In our training program, Alice learned how to diversify her crops to provide a safety net for her income and greater access to nutritional security.  

Now, walking between beds of bright, beautiful vegetables and under the shade of thousands of fruit and agroforestry trees, Alice’s farm is a source of opportunity and happiness. 

In her community, Alice’s joy and success are contagious. Neighbors visit frequently, curious about the bright green landscape that replaced her old farm. She tells them proudly of the power of the Forest Garden and the happiness it has brought her. 

“I encourage them to join TREES to get training and instructions firsthand,” she says, “so that they can get as much knowledge and skills as I have acquired.” 

In addition to the income from her harvests, Alice also serves her community with a seed bank, right out of her Forest Garden. Having learned how to store seeds in our training program, she’s passing on the impact and the joy of a Forest Garden beyond her living fence. 

One farmer, one Forest Garden, one community at a time, your support plants happiness. Alice is one of 41 thousand farmers we’ve served, thanks to our community of donors. 

This season of giving, will you help plant happiness and lasting change among the communities who need it most? Give today to get planting.

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